Jill Blackburn - Artist
Home Page


What is Egg Tempera?
Egg Tempera is a technique used in early medieval paintings of which there are many still in existence today - mostly  icon paintings.
Egg tempera is traditionally created by grinding pigment with egg yolk and a little water - some artists also use a very little vinegar.

In order to obtain the perfect luminosity of this medium it is necessary to apply many thin glazes, cross hatching and inscribing - fine work requiring a great deal of patience and many hours work.

Unlike oil paint -  egg tempera  will not yellow change colour or go transparent over time and colours remain bright and pure.   Painting is usually done on a gesso board - these are made with wood, linen and then painted over with usually about 8 - 10 coats of gesso and then lots of sanding to a glass surface - these take several days to make.
Paintings take about a year to "cure" and for the first two years scratch very easily - therefore your picture must be handled with care.   Dusting should be with a soft cloth.
Do not use a damp cloth as any water on the surface could cause permanent damage and also be careful not to get finger marks on the surface as they will show up.
Do not hang your picture in a damp environment and it should never be warapped in  plastic as this encourages mould.    When transporting your picture, wrap it in a soft cloth.